For restaurant operators around greater Los Angeles, there are few easy answers right now. Some have transitioned into delivery and takeout only following the statewide dine-in closure mandate set forth by California governor Gavin Newsom, while others have closed outright while awaiting the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. Still others are weighing, daily, the need to stay open to financially support the business and staff, against a need to keep themselves, and their employees, safe and healthy.
Here now are 13 of the biggest restaurant closures around Los Angeles, and the plans for each one moving forward — at least for now. Most, if not all, are temporary, but with the pandemic ongoing, it’s impossible to know what reopening looks like, or when.
Sqirl, Virgil Village
Beloved daytime spot Sqirl closes on Friday, April 3, but will remain open for online orders of pantry items like jam. Owner Jessica Koslow said plainly: “these are trying and stressful times.”
Nate’n Al’s, Beverly Hills
Iconic 75-year-old Jewish deli Nate’n Al’s closed its doors on March 29, laying off all staff. The restaurant is set to lose its current lease shortly, and does not appear to have a solid future location to land in, let alone a reopening date.
Nancy Silverton closed her entire Mozza empire at Highland and Melrose on March 31, including the prodigious Mozza2Go that was pushing out dishes from all of her other restaurants. Silverton cited safety concerns for her decision to close.
Night + Market, West Hollywood/Silver Lake/Venice
Kris Yenbamroong is closing his Night + Market restaurants across the city on Saturday, April 4. “By all indications, 2-3 weeks from now will be the most high risk period of this pandemic,” he says, “during which time we should all just stay home.”
Konbi, Echo Park
One of LA’s hottest restaurants of 2019, Konbi, closed March 30. The small space made it impossible for staff to work while social distancing, says co-owner Akira Akuto, who plans to continue to pay his staff.
Taco Maria, Costa Mesa, Orange County
Acclaimed Orange County modern Mexican restaurant Taco Maria closed March 31 after attempting to shift to delivery and takeout. Chef Carlos Salgado says that he could not guarantee the safety of his own staff, and won’t reopen until it is safe to do so.
Majordomo, far Chinatown
Worldwide chef David Chang completely closed his Momofuku restaurants on March 14, which was early by Los Angeles standards. But with restaurants in New York City, Australia, and beyond, Chang had been quick to see potential safety issues, saying “we believe [closing] is in the best interest of the wellbeing of our teams, our community, and the world at large.”
Petit Trois/Trois Mec, Hollywood and Sherman Oaks
Chef Ludo Lefebvre closed his French food empire on March 21, saying “we’ll see you on the other side.”
Sushi Ginza Onodera, West Hollywood
Two Michelin-starred sushi temple Sushi Ginza Onodera closed its La Cienega doors on April 1.
Nightshade, Arts District
Chef Mei Lin pivoted to takeout food for as long as she could, but pushing fine dining food at a loss proved difficult for herself, her restaurant, and her staff. The restaurant closed on March 20.
Owners Dina Samson and chef Steve Samson closed their restaurant in the Fashion District in early March, but are still cooking family-style meals for their own staff. Their sister restaurant, Superfine Pizza, remains open.
Kato, West LA
Jon Yao closed his tiny Taiwanese tasting menu restaurant Kato on March 15. Yao had recently been awarded a Michelin star, and had been doing luxury fine dining tasting menu dinners on Sunday nights at the strip mall restaurant, as he sought to grow into a three-star chef.
Howlin’ Ray’s, Chinatown
Owners Johnny Ray and Amanda Zone say they won’t reopen until they can manage their line and keep their staff safe, but with a tiny Far East Plaza space, that could be a challenge. The last time they tried delivery instead, they basically crashed Postmates.